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Gamers Have Become Less Interested in Strategic Thinking and Planning

Wildebeest

Member
I don't think that the strategy game industry is in too good a spot in terms of the headliners. The 2010s XCOM games were overhyped RNG fests and not great strategy games. Paradox grand strategy games are weird larping simulators where you get to live out your dream of being WW2 Hitler or Space Hitler and buying ten million DLCs. StarCraft 2 pretty much made itself a tombstone on the competitive RTS scene.
 
I looked and couldn't find how they'd controlled for the demographic makeup of gamers in their data between 2015 and 2024.

If you focused only on core PC gamers in 2015, but today include mobile gamers and folks who play nothing but Candy Crush, then is anyone surprised this is the result?

It would indicate that gamers have not become dumber, rather there are more gamers today, many more of which are more casual and play simpler games for their fun.
 
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StereoVsn

Member
Mobile gaming, shorts from YouTube and TikTok and general reduction of public attention span and no wonder we are seeing these results.

And this is a sad thing by since strategy gaming genre is one of my favorites. Despite my grumbling I buy most of Paradox’s fare as well a good bit of Total War side and of course numerous other games.

Total War is rumored to be going away from its historical bread and butter to more fantastical and/or modern.

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Kagoshima_Luke

Gold Member
I feel like WoW's patches over the years has mirrored this. In Vanilla, you had to actually gather a group up and walk, potentially to another continent, to the dungeon, which could take 20 minutes in and of itself. Now you click a button and are thrown into a group and transported to the dungeon in a few seconds. There's something lost when everything happens in a matter of seconds. The payoff of a good dungeon run is less satisfying.
 

March Climber

Gold Member
Gamers are not gamers anymore. All the masses want is interactive movies. And a lot of you as well. It's sad really.
Your take is already out of touch.

It would indicate that gamers have not become dumber, rather there are more gamers today, many more of which are more casual and play simpler games for their fun.
This is what I was going to ask about too. If the number of gamers skyrocketed over the past 8-10 years (especially during Covid) wouldn’t the less popular genre’s look smaller in player number even if they remained the same?
 

Puscifer

Member
I don't think that the strategy game industry is in too good a spot in terms of the headliners. The 2010s XCOM games were overhyped RNG fests and not great strategy games. Paradox grand strategy games are weird larping simulators where you get to live out your dream of being WW2 Hitler or Space Hitler and buying ten million DLCs. StarCraft 2 pretty much made itself a tombstone on the competitive RTS scene.
Wait what? The original creator of XCOM even said he thought they were great successors to what he created. But that being said, he did say he played them on harder difficulty modes and I do that myself.
 

NeverYouMind

Gold Member
Just a reminder that this line of thinking is as old as time. Your parents likely considered videogames, rap, and computers to be indicative of social decline. Their parents thought television, gossip rags, and rock n' roll were indicative of social decline. Meanwhile, the real decline is in agriculture, industrialization, and autonomy from government/corporate control, but it is happening at a rate that takes lifetimes. It is like boiling a frog. If you throw it into hot water it will hop out, but if the temperature increases gradually it boils to death without putting up a fight.
 
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Medical Mechanica has been smoothing out the wrinkles in our brains for the past few decades. I'm not surprised we all have less mental capacity than our ancestors.
Iron GIF by Design Museum Gent
 
Your take is already out of touch.


This is what I was going to ask about too. If the number of gamers skyrocketed over the past 8-10 years (especially during Covid) wouldn’t the less popular genre’s look smaller in player number even if they remained the same?

I think the author just wanted an excuse to blame social media and Gen Z's poor attention span.

Not that social media isn't the worst thing to ever happen to humanity, but at least in this case, without the broader context, it's entirely premature to draw the conclusions the article writer is doing.
 

Solidus_T

Banned
Actually games have less of a focus on strategic thinking and planning, all done in order to be "accessible" or appeal to people who don't really play video games and maximize sales. Even action games today are not really action games, but instead focus on the easiest ques for parry timing. When the enemy flashes blue, parry, red, dodge! So easy!
 

Wildebeest

Member
Wait what? The original creator of XCOM even said he thought they were great successors to what he created. But that being said, he did say he played them on harder difficulty modes and I do that myself.
Everyone wants a legacy, and is Julian Gollop supposed to be my god or something? New XCOM is based around very swingy randomness and the frustration of failure, either due to lacking information or just the odds being bad. If you like that and don't really care so much about strategic planning, then it is probably an amazing development in gaming for you.
 

Varteras

Gold Member
I played a 7-hour match of Stellaris against NPCs. I eventually lost but I loved it. My younger brother (by 20 years) asked me how I could enjoy something that takes so long, has so many things you have to keep track of, just to end up losing even if you played well. Has the same complaints about MMORPGs I play. No matter how I tried to explain it to him, he just could not conceive any amount of fun that could come from that.

What games does he play? Fortnite. Valorant. Call of Duty. He's not stupid, but he does struggle with any concepts that are abstract, complex, or require a viewpoint that spans a significant amount of time. He thinks things are black and white. Only recent events matter. Only the way he feels about things, or his own actions, are relevant.

He gets bored and annoyed if there isn't something constantly happening. He has no appreciation for the build-up. It's instant gratification, turned to 11. He plays and lives in a bubble. Nothing about these claims surprise me.
 

Puscifer

Member
Everyone wants a legacy, and is Julian Gollop supposed to be my god or something? New XCOM is based around very swingy randomness and the frustration of failure, either due to lacking information or just the odds being bad. If you like that and don't really care so much about strategic planning, then it is probably an amazing development in gaming for you.
What do you consider strategic planning?
 

Wildebeest

Member
What do you consider strategic planning?
Foreseeing something that will happen in the future, then taking actions to make it more manageable. Maybe even making trivial some challenge which seemed almost impossible. An easy-to-understand example might be overleveling in an old RPG, so the final boss can be one shot, while in a new "balanced" RPG the boss will level scale because someone decided that strategy wasn't exciting enough.
 
You know what, this sucks. I absolutely believe it. I am usually quick to say "Gen z" blah blah blah, but its in every gen (gen z is worse though with tik tok trash)

There was always people who want non stop action and no strategic thinking. It goes out of gaming too, people who don't like to save, clean, plan, wait, they want it now, instant gratification.
It takes work and effort to hold back, to savor to strategize, or just think.

In games I like all genres, but games with strategy or tactics, especially turn based and city builders are my thing. Followed by roguelikes and rpgs. All of which require that.
 

Alebrije

Member
Exploration is easier now , tons of signals on maps Also maps are more detailed. Paths are basically colored do you know where to jump or climb.

Games like Mist these days are more niche, just look at Talos Principle. Players want easily short adventures that is why games like Roblox are a hit.

I Guess this is why Ubisoft never released an Splinter Cell Game again, where You need to plan your actions an path in order to go full Ninja mode.
 
developing artificial intelligence has always been about developing dumber populations. the greater the progress in developing the latter, the greater the progress in developing the former...
 

Kataploom

Gold Member
I'm not sure how the raise of soulslikes and survival games can make anyone think so... Unless they're mostly counting mobile payers, I mean, players...
 
Considering what type of games have been endorsed, promoted, to then be sold to the masses, this isn't that surprising. I mean, we're at a point where puzzles in modern AAA almost borderline solve themselves. Mind numbing high budget games tend to get straight 9s or 10s while more interesting/alternative and complex games get the leftovers or out right stomped down frequently.

There are barely any voices out there that spread the word about games that require this kind of mindset. Game journos in particular have a tendency to bitch about a game's difficulty or learning curve.
 
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KXVXII9X

Member
I've been gaming over 20 years but have always shared more of the casual gamer mindset. I think there are just more kinds of gamers these days since it became more mainstream. I usually gravitated towards Nintendo, point and clicks, and JRPGs growing up. But I also love puzzles, CRPGs, turn based strategy, and Immersive Sims. Even then I burn fast out on the latter three.

I think right now there are a lot of games and other things outside of gaming vying for our time and attention. The average game length is MUCH longer than it used to be. I remember using Strategy Guides for more complex games and feel I should go back to that. They didn't really take away from the depth of the game or contribute to my attention span. Finding some shortcuts and playing in ways that were more accessible allowed me to enjoy this hobby. I think the "hardcore" crowd is very narrow minded and can only see a game's value if it is challenging or deep. Most people don't really care about how hardcore you game. Mostly everyone has something they invest more time and energy in. These same people may be investing more time in fitness or school.

I would rather play a highly focused game like Picross that still engages my brain than some hardcore game that has me spending hours on tedious grinds, and constantly trying to keep up with the ever-growing rules. These are games after all, and I would rather spend my time with a more useful skill like drawing.
 

lmimmfn

Member
You know its absolutely junk analysis when
"

How Big Exactly is a Drop to 33rd-%tile?​

Both percentiles and psychometrics are fairly abstract concepts and the magnitude of a drop to 33rd-%tile can be difficult to grok. To help anchor this finding, here are some real-world magnitude equivalents using more familiar metrics:

  • It’s the equivalent of all men age 20+ in the US losing 17 pounds in weight.
  • It’s the equivalent of all adult men (worldwide) losing 1.34 inches in height.
  • It’s the equivalent of everyone (worldwide) losing 6.75 points of IQ."

It's like if someone robbed 1/3rd of your pizza or if someone cut with a chainsaw your 50" TV down to only 33.33" WOW!!!
 
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bobone

Member
From a non science point of view.
I think this is definitely obvious when you look at the gaming selection today. In the early 2000's I played dozens of strategy games.

All games, in general, have been dumbed down to the extreme. Puzzles in games are not really puzzles, everything has an arrow or a marker telling you where to go, etc
Maybe people like this, it certainly sells more to the normies.

But then you see exceptions to this, like Tarkov, that sell very well and are extremely deep.
But they pull you in with addictive game mechanics, clearly a similar appeal to gambling.

I can't think of any game that is popular because it actually makes you use your brain.
 

EverydayBeast

thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
Some gamers turn the back on strategies in video games, games like rainbow six (terrorist hunter) actually in my mind ruined their game by doing too much strategy and disgusting character designs. Remember this is a hobby that looked like this less than 100 years ago:

pac man GIF


But gamers have to have standards. I think minimal planning like quest planning, planning before a boss is important.
 

IAmRei

Member
I don't think that the strategy game industry is in too good a spot in terms of the headliners. The 2010s XCOM games were overhyped RNG fests and not great strategy games. Paradox grand strategy games are weird larping simulators where you get to live out your dream of being WW2 Hitler or Space Hitler and buying ten million DLCs. StarCraft 2 pretty much made itself a tombstone on the competitive RTS scene.
I kinda agree with xcom, too much rely on RNG, almost as worse as old Super Robot Taisen...

But, fortunately for me, there are still good games such as fire emblem, sd gundam generation genesis, unicorn overlord, advance wars, tactic ogre, valkyria chronicles, triangle strategy, and hopefully final fantasy tactic remake soon.
 
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salva

Member
This is why I still play R6: Raven Shield spending most of my time in the planning phase. It's so fucking good and rewarding when it works out in the action phase.
Meanwhile the zoomers can't decide on which fluorescent color skin they should apply to their assault rife in R6: Siege.
 

zokie

Member
this is one of the reasons why people hated Paper Mario Origami King because some are lazy to think about strategy on how to defeat normal enemies and bosses thus they prefer Paper Mario Thousand Year Door
 

MrRibeye

Member
The OP's study sees a 17% decline in strategic thinking from 2015 to 2024, in that it was 50% of players in 2015 and now only 33% of players in 2024, therefore a 17% drop.

Number of global gaming population has increased by 65% percent from 2015 to 2024.
2,000,000,000 in 2015
3,300,000,000 in 2024
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With such an enormous influx of people, and given that OP's survey is not restricted by geography, it seems normal to me to see a watering down and drop in the popularity of certain game genres such as strategy.

Personally, I don't believe the market or people's taste has changed and neither that preference for strategy has declined.
 

MrRenegade

Banned
not surprising , you can see the behaviour of the youth these days
Yeah, retardation.

My problem with this survey is that they only share gender. I see no age groups and I don't see which players play what the fuck for example. They create an article, but refuse to share key details from their survey. Fuck these bitches. Let the hungry bears fuck them silly.

How the fuck should I appeal " long-term thinking, planning, and careful decision-making" when I rarely play games that need these traits?
 
friend got me to play spiderman 2 on ps5, fighting mr sand man guy.

i tried to lose on purpose and i couldnt.
This chase for maximum accessibility has consequently lead to this. Big devs have taken it to such an extreme where the risk vs. reward is marginal at best and non-existent at worst. Its gotten really close to wiping away the core definition of what a game entails.
 
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Depends on my mood.

Gamers crave engaging with the product. Moment to moment gameplay loop is key.

It doesn’t need to be complex. Ninja Gaiden 2 isn’t complex but it gets the brain going and requires more of the correct energy from the player to succeed than Diablo 4 for example.

D4 has far more complexity but it’s mindless.

Ninja gaiden 2 is far less complex but has depth.

Games don’t need a lot of mechanics they just need depth to them, and from there a player will be engaged and using their brain.

The Diablo series is still incredibly base in terms of complexity, at least as far as cRPGs go.
 

Mobilemofo

Member
I got done with strategy games after the Amiga A1200. Couldn't give a fuck after that. No interest still. Literally no appeal at all.
 

StueyDuck

Member
This doesn't surprise me much.

I know the general idea of the article is talking about rts/tb systems. But even just pvp or multiplayer in general, most people want to watch a streamer come up with the meta instant win method and just do the same thing over and over. They don't want to plan or strategise or think.

Pretty much why almost any online game is pointless for me, it feels like you are playing an ai on hard mode anyway since everyone does the exact same thing, so why not just play bots 🤷‍♂️.

The best is mobas, if you pick any character that isn't the top 10 meta characters people go insane, if you don't build the exact way the meta says you should they go insane.

I played dota(2) for the first time in like 10 years last year, chose axe and forgot to buy some dumb arse item by minute 5 and the whole team fed and raged 🤣.

Needless to say I didn't play Dota again, wheres the fun in reading an ordered list of what exactly to do and never try anything else
 
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deriks

4-Time GIF/Meme God
With games having an NPC literally saying what you need to do and platforming with no bets to loose, of course people will, and that's bullshit
 
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